Cameron began his service March 15, 2010 to Rio de Janeiro Mission.
Marissa began her service July 20, 2011 to Barcelona Spain Mission. Craig began his service December 28, 2011 to Cochabamba, Bolivia. Ryan began his service October 23, 2013 to Lima Perú North.
We are pleased to inform you that your daughter has safely arrived in the Spain Barcelona Mission. Hermana Hinckley and I, along with the two assistants, met her at the airport. The group of missionaries we received is wonderful young men and women, ready to go to work. Their enthusiasm reflects their love for the Savior and we are grateful for the privilege of guiding them along as they serve the Lord.
Every area in the Spain Barcelona Mission is unique and beautiful, rich in history and tradition. More importantly, each city is full of children of our Heavenly Father, waiting to hear the glad news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Thank you for the trust you have put in us to shepherd your daughter. Please know that we feel a great responsibility to guide and protect “our” missionaries. We love your sons and daughters as if they were our own. With the Lord’s help, we intend to make their mission experience in Barcelona the most memorable time of their lives.
The week was brutal. We ran around after people, but of course it is extremely difficult to describe our running around in an email. Investigators come and go so quickly. We are given the opportunity to only describe the more special moments.
We met a woman named Célia this week. She was a referral from a member. During the time of the flood, she was helped by the church. She expressed with great sincerity the love she has for the church. What is stopping her from being baptized? She has never been to a church meeting nor read the book of mormon. We will change that. We explained the restoration of the gospel to her and she accepted to read and pray to know if the message is true. We will accompany her this week.
Democrecina is a elderly woman we found last week and she went to church. She is 92 and still walks like any other person. She loved the church and accepts our visits very openly. We also are trying to help her grandson. We found him first and he invited us to come to his house. Democrecina was BAPTIZED yesterday. She accepted readily. We didn't even have to go pick her up. She was ready with a towel in hand. I think this goes down as the oldest person we have helped to be baptized.
Fátima, our baptism three weeks ago, is a little discouraged. She fell back into her old habits of smoking and drinking coffee. We are trying to help her, but I really believe it just comes right down to her personal desire. She still goes to church which is the bonus. Her daughter takes her every week.
Maykom, baptism from two weeks ago already received the Priesthood at Stake conference last week. He is going strong. He is starting to invite his friends. We will be working with him a lot.
Vanuza. She went to church yesterday. She has quite the past. She had a calling in her old church, but she left the church due to corruption. She had a very strong testimony of her church, but then it was sold. That really shook the faith she had. We informed her that our church isn't man's church. Our church will never be sold, nor does anyone in the church work for money. She was rather impressed with the church. I pray that she might be baptized this Saturday after conference.
A highlight of the week was our district meeting. Because of the help President gave to us district leaders, the meeting went very well. We evaluated our progress, our results and helped each other with investigator´s problems. It felt more like we were all on the same team (which we are) instead of comparing our results and progress. Much more spiritual. Our president really is inspired.
Have a wonderful week. Remember that the church is true. Everyone needs to pray that Rio be blessed with a temple announced at conference!
Hombre, we´ve already been here 3 days and it feels like home. The flight went by fast! I finally caught up on sleep. The first night President Earl said we wouldn´t remember a thing he told us. He was right haha. I was so tired and loopy to the point that my eyes kept going cross-eyed no joke. So we were able to go to bed early at 7pm. While the other Hermana´s slept 12 hours I woke up at 2:15 am and couldn´t fall back asleep worth the life of me until 5am so I just wrote in my journal and read my scriptures. The next night I was out and slept like a baby. So I feel great now!
Madrid rocks! The president is so relaxed on everything we do here and our schedules. We kind of make our own schedules and everything is so flexible since our time here is limited. It´s like a little missionary vacation here. The food is amazing. We´ve done 2 temple sessions already. This is by far THE most gorgeous Celestial room I´ve EVER seen. The artwork and chandeler´s are to die for. I did both sessions in Español and for the most part understood everything. It was a really neat experience.
A bunch of missionaries came in yesterday so it went from 10 missionaries here to like 30 missionaries. My companion for a day from Italy is going to France and spoke very little English and no Español ha. So we tried communicating by what little English she new, a little American and Italian sign language mixed with pictionary. Very interesting combo. She has to ¨wash her teeth¨ after every meal. haha. There are people from all over Europe, Romania, France, Italy, New Zealand, Tahiti, Hawaii, America and Portugal. Crazy, you can imagine how cool temple session was having it in over 5 different languages and compromising for Spanish here and there. I was very touched my the spirit in my areas and experiences there. What a blessing and opportunity this has been. You won´t find a greater place on this earth! Lot´s of Portugeese here Cam. A nice lady told me how pretty I was in the temple in Porugeese from Portugal and I understood her a little. Lot´s of Portugeese here Cammy Poo.
Then we were able to go down town on the metro to see all the fun sights. Lot´s of cool pictures and bizarre things to see. King of Spain´s house, opera house, cathedrals everywhere. It was cool we actually did a lot of missionary work everwhere esp. in the cathedral. I was handing out pass along cards with the temple on it everywhere and telling others to come see our catherdral or temple so to speak. It worked! Gave them the address then enjoyed just talking to people everywhere I went to get the Español going. I know more than I thought. Was stopped by a crazy guy as I put a pass along card in his violin case. That was bad and I couldn´t understand how bad it was because I don´t quite get every word yet so I just smiled and waved as I walked away because I could tell it wasn´t nice haha. But this has been so much fun I´ll try and send pictures.
I know the church is true! I know Joseph Smith restored this church to the earth, but most importantly, my Savior lives! I love him. I love sharing the truth. Hope you have taken things off your load mom and dad and are enjoying life. Don´t worry about your missionaries because God´s protecting them. I pray for you all every night and love you very much. I have never felt closer to my Savior then ever before and finally satisfied with where I´m at in life. Love you, hope you have a good week!
Well here I am in España! made it safe! This country is beautiful. How awesome it was to get on that plane with my fellow Spaniards. I love the people already can´t even explain how they somehow just fit my `personality. So many missionary opportunities to share. ¨I placed my first El Libro de Mormón!´´ which is the book of mormon, another testament of Jesus Christ. I was also able to give a couple of pamphlets away and pass along cards. How wonderful it was to look out of the plane and see Portugal after a long plane ride over the Atlantic. I sat next to an elder going to Barcelona as well. it was a blast!
So excited so many good things to tell but unfortunately I have to keep it short. All the elders played a guessing game where we would all be reassigned to because we had no word of visas and were supposed to leave in 4 days. I was a grandma over at the provo mtc, got to host the new missionaries then received word of my visa this just last Thursday. We got to go to the consolate of spain´s house! so beautiful with all the spaniard art work everywhere! Elder Ballard spoke to us at devotional which was a suprise and my hermana, mi compañera, received word she will not be going to españa with the rest of us because of visa problems. She was reassigned to the salt lake city mission, which is where she is from. She wasn´t at all thrilled, but I reminded her of the blessings that come from faith and a good attitude. She never complained again after that.
It was hard saying goodbye to the elders, but it was time to move on to bigger and better things. I felt like I didn´t get much studying done my last week because I was so busy with packing, visa paperwork, signing everyone´s books, taking pictures, going away meetings, devos, then finally saying goodbye! I love it here! i get to be here a week then I´ll take a train to Barcelona on Tuesday. the temple is gorgeous, the weather is fantastic, and the people are beautiful! I´m a little loopy from no sleep for 24 hours but president won´t let us sleep until tonight because that´s what´s best!
Well I´ll talk to you on Thursday again, that´s prep day. I love you all, don´t worry about me. I´m doing more than great! Mom and Dad take it easy on yourselves. I´m the last thing you need to worry about. Love you all, the church is true. Be happy and breath you crazy Walkers!!
We worked really hard to get a lot of people at church this week. It was stake conference. The conference was divided into two sessions due to distance. The session in our city was at 4:00. We found several people who wanted to go to church and said they would. But it's always the people you least expect who end up going. Maykon got the Melchizedek priesthood on Sunday. That was really quick! Well, when bishop loves the converts, it goes really quickly.
We are working this week with a man called Elias. He is one of those people that all the missionaries work with. His wife is a member and even served a mission. To this day, no one has baptized him. We show up there to help. We don't teach anything because he's probably already heard everything. We just sit and talk. Turns out, he wants to be baptized and has a testimony. His problem is that he drinks and smokes. If we could just get rid of those two, he would be easy water. But these are the two giants that every missionary fears. I've never had too much success with people with addictions. We'll see.
Monday, I didn't write because there was a leadership training in Rio. It was just for the district leaders. Everything that was said was perfect. I was really quite unsure as to what my responsibilities were as a district leader and how president wants us to lead our districts. Everything was laid out very plainly. I'm sure the mission will be much more powerful now.
I have seen the hand of the Lord in everything. Sunday and Monday were very interesting. While waiting for the other elders to get to our city, we got a phone call that they missed the bus. This means that we would have to go there and meet them, and that I would get in Rio really late. But it just so happened that because of this we had the chance to bless another's life. First, we left the conference a bit early to go home and grab our stuff. On the way we ran into some members that weren't at church. They were coming back from the hospital. They gave us a ride (helped us a lot) and we gave her a blessing. Second. Due to the fact that we got late in Rio, we ran into two lost elders in the bus station that were going to the same house that we were. Third. Because we got back so late, we ended up staying the night at a different house. Elder Alvorado (Kyle) was there. I got to say goodbye. We were happy to see each other. He said something that I don't think I will ever forget. He said, "You know how being a missionary we always want to do things that aren't allowed. You think, "man I really want to listen to some good music right now." Well, when I found out I was going home, I didn't want any of that. I just wanted my mission back." Yes, he went home yesterday due to his medical condition. Fourth. We happened to be on the right bus at the right time going to the training because we ran into more lost elders who didn't know how to get to the chapel. Fifth, on the way to the chapel, right when I got off the bus, I ran into Gluacio. Glaucio is the father of the family Elder Nelson and I baptized on my very first month of the mission. Unfortunately he isn't active, but it couldn't have been pure coincidence that I ran into him. It all started when the other elders missed that bus coming to my city. Had they made it, none of this would have happened.
Wow sounds like you made a ton of pasta! And totally jealous about the Pestana thing. That's awesome! Did you dedicate Grandma's grave? I just found out you can do that! crazy that cassidy brown was there too w/ Pat I remember her very well that's too bad. Congrats on the Job Dad that's sweet. Guess you'll just have to hire me as your ballroom and dance instructor in 3 years. I think this will be a great opportunity for you!
9-11 I was in 7th grade. Same as Cameron and you I was sitting in the Kitchen with Dad and everyone and we always had on the news. Dad said that's where my choirs and I used to sing. And at school I remember Mrs. Vavolisa making us write in our journals. Lot's of crazy things that day I remember. We had a very special day here at the MTC. They did this whole special on 9-11 with a video and music and spoken words w/ Tom Bradkaw or whatever his name is. President went on to say that although not everyone here at the MTC is from America it effected the WHOLE world. Then he spoke on those who go about, the wicked, arising in secret combinations. How grateful I am for all of those that gave and give their lifes for this country and the Lord's work. I felt something for them all today. I also went to Choir that day, whom the Choir director was a spitten image of Dad and his Choir personality he gets when he directs. He was funny and told cool stories.
Mom and Dad can I just start by saying I love your thoughts and letters you send. It's like Christmas as a missionary or my entertainment for the week to live vicariously through your lives. I love it and am so grateful you raised us the way you did! I feel like I want to hear more of your mission stories the more I see how cool a mission really is.
Sorry that I am terrible everyone about writing letters. It's been busy but I promise sooner or later I will write back. I feel like there's no time to write on P-days, there not Prep days here they're P-moments. We still have class etc. But it's fun! I end up sleeping on my breaks instead of writing letters so sorry everyone I'm getting behind on my writing Oh and you know that ya'll can write letters that are free through Dear Elder.com right? Just sayin
So the Elders in our District received their flight plans to Dallas this week. Still nothing for us Esta bien! It'll come this week I just know it! I'm getting excited...one more week until we actually get to get out and teach real people! It's about time I'm soooo ready.
So it's a miracle Cam and Craig wrote and I appreciated what they had to say. I love my brothers and they have grown up so much it's crazy! Ryan how are you, you're officially the only one I never hear from! So I figured out that if I'm going to get married with all my brothers there it needs to be the summer of 2014 haha! Because that's the only time we'll all be together again as a family before Ryan leaves on his mission. Not that I'm thinkin about those things....but being the night owl that I am I lay there forever in my bed trying to fall asleep...soooo that was just a thought as I was counting sheep. haha!
C-Do you know what Guardia is? Do you have to boil the water?
I have no idea what guardia is. The water thing is no big deal. In the CTM he'll get a bottle with a super advanced and expensive filter. He will drink from that and never get sick. The church takes good care of its missionaries. However many missionaries stop using the bottle. Most of the time they don't get sick because, well, Rio is an advanced city for Brazil, but there are always those exceptions. Just use the bottle.
Dear Walker Nation,
9/11. Where was I? I remember two things. I remember walking in to the kitchen after the first plane had hit then sitting there with mom when the second plane came in. Crazy. The other thing I remember is Mr Los, the band director. We said the pledge of allegiance in his class then he went on the rest of the hour about how great it was that we said the pledge of allegiance with such respect. We didn't play one note that entire hour.
This week was a rather special one. We worked hard on Tuesday, and that was pretty much the extent of our hard work. Wednesday we had to prepare for our voyage to Teresópolis and Petrópolis. You all know how much I love bus rides!! (jk). Wednesday we left Nova Friburgo to get into the station at Teresópolis. There we sat waiting another two hours for the rest of the zone (except Elder Alvorado, He's in the hospital for some kind of infection or perhaps kidney stones.). The good part is I bought a new card game: Monopoly Deal. Usually I'm not the biggest fan of Monopoly, but the card game is much quicker and a lot more fun. We played several rounds, met up with the other Elders and went to Petrópolis. That place is freezing!
The conference was excellent. Elder Mazzagardi from the quorum of the 70 spoke. He spoke less about baptism and a lot more about retention and reactivation. He spoke of preparing for a temple (woohoo). He explained the promise of Malachi. We have robbed the lord in tithes and offerings. I we pay our tithing (the members) and give an offering, the Lord will open the windows of heaven. We,a s missionaries, need to offer an offering for the Lord. He also said that we need to look to baptize more families and look for them closer to the church. It's much easier for them to stay active. He had so many good ideas. The conference was excellent. The worst part was when he joked about lunch being In-n-Out. It was right before lunch. I told him that you can't joke about things like that. He's a funny man.
Afterward we made the wonderful trip back home.
Friday we made preparations for President. He was coming to Nova Friburgo to interview a man that was involved with a motorcycle accident while drunk. The situation was a little complicated and we didn't know if he could be baptized because of the law. President showed up and interviewed him. Turns out, everything is ok. There was only one thing. President took us into the room with him. He explained that Maykon's desire to be baptized is good. Then he looked to Maykon. He said he is allowed to be baptized when he knows for sure that the Book of Mormon is true. When he has a surety that it was translated from the plates. He promised that if he read, then prayed with faith, God will give you a testimony of the book. I was impressed. I feel like many of my investigators need this testimony because the book of Mormon really is the foundation of a testimony. If they know the book is true, the chances of them falling away are less likely.
Of course, we didn't hesitate to act. That night he read and prayed. We called him and visited him in the morning. He had received an answer. Maykon is our miracle story. He had a life-threatening accident and survived. He had to learn to walk and speak again. He did all of this and started changing his life even more when he found the church. He was willing to do anything to be forgiven of the things he had done. Finally, he was able to be baptized, and we were the fortunate ones to witness the event.
Sunday, Fatima and Maykon were both confirmed. The worst part about sacrament meeting was the piano. With the organist missing, the bishop called on me to play. Uh oh. I told him I am only so-so, but I didn't refuse the call. I played and messed up a bunch. So, I decided that one hand would suffice. I really wish I had practiced more so I could have been better prepared to answer the call.
Hello from the MtC hood!!!! Yes I'm still in the Provo MtC, no I do not have a visa, and yes I am ready to GO!!!!! haha. I love it here I do but it's time to get some fresh air. 2 weeks left and I'm out!!!! Woo-hoo!!!! Supposedly the Spain visa office here at UVU is closed the whole month of August....lame right? But I should be getting it any day now.
Congrats Craigy Baby on the mission call! Bolivia huh...Cochabamba!!!!! Funny because I see that word and picture of there temple in Tall lab ever week and make fun of it. It's kinda an inside joke in our district. Cho-cho bamboooo!!!! Scary place. Funny that everyone was silent in the room when you got the call. Don't worry mom the Lord will protect him. The Lord watches over His missionaries unless they go out and do something stupid haha.
Well it's been an eventful week so to make a short email longer Elder Jeffrey R. Holland from the quorum of the 12 apostles gave our devotional this week. MAN that man is on fire!!!! Woo! Best talk and devo ever!!!! I was lucky and got to sit right in the front where the ASL interpreter was...because the ASL people love me. I was 10 feet away from an apostle of the Lord. I was overwelmed with joy and the spirit as he looked me profoundly in the eyes and spoke with motivation and power. I know why I didn't get my Visa now. I know that talk was given for me and I needed to hear EVERY word. He looked right at me most the time and I knew this man was and is forever more called of God. Wow...so much I was brought to tears. It was such a special meeting. Afterwards 2 AsL sisters did an ASL duet. It was gorgeous. The whole meeting just spoke to me. I want to be an ASL interpreter someday.
So it's official I can read Spanish and translate it into English now. CRAZY! Now I just have to speak it better. It's coming. Interesting how more beautiful the translations are in Spanish. I have gained more insights and new ideas I have never thought of before pop in my head by translating from language to language. The gift of tongues is real and such a be-a-utiful thing.
The Elders put on a Vanquilitrist act for us. Funniest thing ever!!!! Man I've never laughed so hard. Ofcourse it was Elder Rupp and Marble putting it on the show...the 2 funniest Elders. Little Elder Marble sat on his lap and translated everything Elder Rupp would say in Espanol. Oh boy 19 year old Elders are funny. We had a fire alarm again in the girls dorm....someone burnt pop-corn...stupid people...can't stand em'
Tell Cambrie I'm sorry to hear about Patrick. That breaks my heart we were all such good friends. Sad day.
So I feel like I'm living in the 20's with no technology, just letter writing, the huge computers here, all the old school buildings, it's great. The only thing that's missing is MUSIC!!!! oh music. But mom you would have been proud of me, I went to the aerobics class this morning at 6 AM!!!!!!! woohoo! It was great. 2 more weeks and I can listen to music. We tend to make our own music here it's fun. It's crazy though like I've been able to focus way more without music and my relationship with my Father and His Son has just bloomed. I've never felt this good about myself in my whole life. I think everyone should prepare to serve a mission. Girls and Guys. In fact we learn in preach my gospel that everyone should prepare while they are young and old to serve a mission, whether they choose to go when the time comes or not! So mom, dad, ryan, emily be preparing. It's a good quality to have. Mom and Dad...have you ever thought about serving a mission someday? I really want to with my husband. I'd also like to be a mission president's wife.
Well I know the church is true. Joseph Smith either saw God the Father and his son in that grove or he didn't. It's as simple as that. Why would someone give there life for such a work and a marvelous book....the Book of Mormon? A book that only testifies that Christ is the Christ. No evil man could ever write such a book. No righteous man ever would. Why would wifes and children suffer for such a cause? Over one event that happened in a grove early one morning? Nevermind the millions who travelled and gave their lives for such a cause. Because it was true and it is still true today. I know my Savior lives and I know he visited the people in the Americas after he rose to His father. I know God still speaks to His children today because he cares and just wants us to be happy. So be happy find joy in the work. learn to LAUGH :) I love you all more than words can describe.
This week passed by so quickly. It started off very well. We were getting ready to work when we get a call from one of our investigators. She said that her mom was wanting to be baptized and that we should go visit her. (her mom was also an investigator). Turns out she had a meeting at her son's school where they talked about preparation for disasters. If the flooding happens again in Friburgo, they are preparing the parents to react in the right way. This part really touched her because really anyone could die in such an accident. She said jokingly to her daughter that she will be baptized this week. We showed up there and left a message about being prepared spiritually. She resisted. We insisted, and she accepted. It was cool to work with her because she was set in her decision. Her son fell last week because he didn't want to be baptized and he still didn't. He tried to convince his mom not to be baptized, but she was set on being baptized. On sunday, the water was so cold that she almost didn't get in. I don't blame her. The last few days have been really cold. Luckily Elder Branco was the one doing the baptism. I got the comfortable role of taking pictures. Fátima stuck her big toe in the water and immediately took it out. Then she went down to her knees and once again sprang out of the water. We are so fortunate to have wonderful members who were there to help her and give her courage to enter the water. She finally got in and was baptized. But right after the baptism she didn't hesitate to leave the water.
Our beloved Rocha is still reading the Book of Mormon. After two weeks he is now in 2 Nephi chapter 14. Unfortunately he still hasn't decided that going to church is important. Although I am loving his progress in the book. It's about time he did something more than just read. He needs to put his faith into action. We invited him to be baptized and he accepted. When we get him to church this next Sunday, we will baptize him the week after.
The other two missionaries in my district pulled off 4 baptisms and 3 confirmations. I am so proud of them. Our district is holding up the zone. It's funny because our areas have a reputation for very few baptisms. Just goes to show that with a little bit of faith and work, there can be miracles anywhere.
Congratulations to Craig for his call. Cochabamba, Bolivia. I have no idea where cochabamba is, but i'm sure you will learn all sorts of indian languages and dialects. If it's close to Brazil you might also pick up a bit of Portuguese.
This next week we will be having a conference with Jairo Mazzagardi who is a seventy from here in Brazil. I will have lots to share next week!
Let me start off by giving Mikey a shout out for getting the job down in Texas with a big time JP Morgan company!!! That made my week to hear that congrats you'll be great, I'll be sending you a letter today. Glad to hear the funeral all went well. So this week is kinda full of stories...but they're funny one's.
No visa, probably won´t make it to the Spain MTC but I love it here :)
So we found a mouse in the bedroom scurrying around....GROSS. You can imagine a bunch of girls squirming and squeeeeeling around. It freaked me out for the next couple of nights thinkin that something furry would end up in bed with me. It probably found the food. We put in mouse traps so hopefully that will help. The Elder's decided somehow that it was prank week. Out of all the Hermana's they decided I would take it the best. So First was the woopy cushion. They got me good. Then because I'm gulible they make up stories like how were allowed to take a bus to see different temples in the valley; etc. It was like prank after prank but it was funny so I just learned to laugh with them. Growing up with brothers I'm used to it.
I see Brooke McEween everywhere! She just got hired here. She came and observed our class for the last hour and it was fun to have her there. She's grown up a lot!!! We get new teachers this week and all the Hermana's keep talking about this cute teacher were getting but I have to remind them we're missionaries keeping an eye single to the glory of God. Haha girls are funny. We have this really intense sub who comes in too and is a marine so he's way strict! But his teaching just motivates you to naturally want to be better. My companion was sick all week then had Pink eye. It was also her birthday so we went full out and did celebration things all day. Ofcourse I put it all together. I think this is where mom comes out in me! ha. It was like taking care of a child all week, but a good skill to acquire.
Thanks for the package it was great! I got it within the same day you sent it. Also...did you guys happen to pull in the MTC after the service on Saturday? I could have sworn I saw you! I was sitting on the grass eating my sack lunch then I saw a car pull in that looked like you guys. As you made a "U"iee I you had a BYU sticker on the back and a Nevada license. haha so whether it was you guys or not I started running after you but you pulled away too quickly. oh well!
So I keep getting lots of different letters asking if I'm not only enjoying jut my district, but the work itself. I know I write a lot about how much I love my district, but may I remind all of you that...THAT IS THE WORK! ha. Learning to love others and relate to them and share what you've know to be true your whole life is the work. That includes having fun together too and just becoming friends with your investigators. Not some piloted robot. That is the work of Jesus Christ loving others. But don't worry I study my heart out everyday and am learning a lot! It's crazy to see how much I've progressed in a year! I've learned more about myself, the gospel, and other people in this year and a half then in my whole lifetime. I know this to be the work of the Lord. And yes it's work, but that is because Salvation and then Exaltation is not a cheep price. I love the Lord, I love this work, and I love my family and the people here! Elder Bednar once said, " You all chose to be a missionary in the pre-existence." I believe that with all my heart. The thought of going on a mission has never left my heart or head. I love my Savior and am striving each day to be more like him. May we all do the same. Have a good first week of school with homework and assignments while I get to do the greatest work the earth will ever know! Have a good week, breath, don't stress, be happy, and remember who you are, a precious child of God. ¡BuenoSuerte!
We had one more really busy week. Due to a Conference we had, there wasn't a lot of time to work in our area. I was super excited to work this week because we are building up a good group of people that can be baptized. We had several miracles.
On Tuesday we showed up to Rocha´s house. This elderly man had received a book of mormon on Saturday. I get there thinking he will give the same excuse that everyone gives: I didn't read, I read and it's really interesting...(didn't really read). He said he read. I was like "oh yeah, what do you remember?". He said he remembered Nephi. I thought, "that's just the first name he read and the only thing he remembers." Then he went on to explain how nephi killed laban, returned for Ishmael's daughters, left Jerusalem, and talked about the great and abominable church. He spat out somany details from the book. Things that most people don't remember. He read 14 chapters in 3 days. I was really surprised. I think he'll be worth working with.
We had many contact from Heavenly Father this week. This being that the people come up to us and talk about the church. We have marked two baptisms for next week because of this.
Friday we had Zone conference in Petropolis. We had to leave Nova Friburgo Thursday night to be in Teresópolis to then leave Friday morning. I saw Elder Alvorado there (he's in my zone, but lives way far away). Elder Alvorado was nice enough to make dinner for the whole zone. I managed to endure the ever so disliked bus rides. The road had a lot of sharp turns being that this region of Rio is full of huge steep hills. It didn't help my motion sickness... Luckily I survived the ride there and back! In the conference we learned a lot!! President Lima has many great techniques for us to practice in our teaching. We have many strategies we are going to use to take away people's fears. The main reason people don't get baptized is due to fear. We are going to be inviting people for the baptism using much more seriousness and assure them that we were called by God to do this. It's hard to explain this by email, but it's really powerful the way we're practicing. We also discussed the importance of love in our work. I think I am going to repeat that message to my district in district meeting.
We also have tactics for helping our investigators pull through on Sunday morning. Many baptisms are lost at the last moment. We are going to start making efforts to firm them up better. First we will go to the house of the baptism and leave the baptismal clothes with them. That way they will have to show up on Sunday. We will also be using more invites for the person's baptism. They invite people, friends show up, more obligation, more investigators at church. Everything in the conference was great.
Saturday we made it back and went instantly to work. We didn't baptize this week, but there are several in perspective for next week.
Thoughts from the Liahona this month:
Love at home -Prez Monson
"Never let a problem to besolved become more important than a person to be loved."
"What is most important almost always involves the people around us."
"We will never regret loving words that were said nor affection shown."
Love you all. The church is true, and we can all know that by living the principles that are taught.
Oh how I loved every minute of you! She always made me laugh and feel good. Never complained a second of her life. Always looking for the good in others and always had a smile on her face. I'll never forget all the good memories I shared with her. Even if it was just reminicsing of her train-track stories....how she will always be known from my friends as the train-track Grandma. Or when Hannah and I made fun of her Moe haircut from the 3 stooges. As Beth would say...Oh bless her soul! Oh bless your soul Grandma Beth for being the rock of our family. For staying strong. Bless you for being at my every dance, piano recital, and soccer game. I always heard her voice over every one ele's as a kid...."Yay Marissa Maroo from Peru!" She was always well dressed and had a new hair-do. She was beautiful. I know that if I ever needed someone to talk to she was just a phone call away. Whether it be my boy-problems or other choices I had to make, she always had good advice to offer. The best advice she offered was, "You let him take care of you, LET HIM PAY!!!" haha I'll never forget that. Oh Grandma, always saying and doing the darnest things. Life is so much more than just being born, waking up everyday, brushing your teeth, then passing away. God has a plan for us and has given us families to take care of one another on this earth. He trusts us to take care of one another. Bob has done just that. He has been there for her every need. What a Christ-like example and love he has demonstrated so thank you Bob. I'll never forget the time when Bob had the TV volume way up to 74 during his favorite show Jeapordy. Beth was trying to talk to him from the other room and he wasn't responding. She said, "Bob turn down that TV so you can hear me." no response. 5 minutes later it was comercial and finally that loud thing wen to mute and Bob says jokingly, "Beth I don't wanna hear ya." haha she laughs and came in and gave him a big kiss. They were always so funny! They loved each other so much. How grateful I am for you Grandpa and taking care of my Grandma Beth. I love you so much and you have also been a good example to me and just a crack up to have around the Walker home. Both of you always made everyone laugh. I always looked forward to you visiting or going to Grandma and Grandpa's house!!! Granny always was trying to brighten your day. Whether it was presents, kind words, or a funny story. Although some of the funny stories would not be appropriate at this time many other thought provoking, learning experiences to share like the time I kicked the soccer ball in the air to show off for the neighborhood boys in Wrightwood. That ball landed smack right on top of her car windshield shattering the thing. I wanted to tell her but my family was taking my back to school shopping that night and I didn't want to not miss out this once a year experience. I got a phone call an hour after we left because Craig and Cameron asked if they could go break Grandma's other wind-shield. I apologized as my mother said then asked what I could do to help pay for it. She quickly said not to worry about it and forgave me without even thinking about it. Man I should have just told her the moment it happened if it would have been that easy. What a Christ-like example she was to me. I have learned through her the power of forgiveness. How easy it was for Christ to love and forgive everyone because he knew they were not perfect but were trying their best. What a Christ like example she has been to me my whole life. What a beautiful day it was last year on Christmas eve when both my Grandpa Martin and Grandma Beth were in the same house same room with all of us just laughing and chatting away. The power of forgiveness is real through and only through the atonement of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I know God lives as well as his beloved son Jesus Christ. So much that he showed how to make it through this life. He succeeded and accomplished God's plan so that we would have a Savior because we cannot do it alone. We just can't no matter how hard we try. I've had to rely on the atonement and I know it's healing power first-hand. How grateful I am for my Grandmother for helping me realize that. I'm glad I got to be up in Utah with her for the time I did. What a blessing she is in my life. I know the divine plan of happiness enables family relationships to be perpetuated beyond the grave. I know Grandma is in a happier place right now starting a whole new chapter of eternal life. I know she was greeted by her family as well as the hosts of heaven whom she has done work for on this earth. I I know she is at the face and in God's hands who has make it passible for all to return to His presence and for families to be united eternally. I will see my Grandmother again! She is up there just cheering us on. Bless her soul. I LOVE HER!!!! Now I must continue laboring in this sweet message that truth is restored, God loves His children and wants us to live again in His presence. I know Jesus Christ is His beloved Son, my Savior, my Redeemer, this I know in the name of Jesus Christ amen.
Love you guys and hope all is going well and not too crazy there. When is the funeral? Any other details I should know? How is everyone handling it? Well you are all in my prayers and everything is going great here!
Craig....please send the plan of salvation notes from Brother Bott's class esp. the part on the 1/3 hosts of heaven thing...ya know what I'm talking about?? and PS you or Ryan never write me why>? haha.
It all started Tuesday. My cell phone broke because it got wet. WE had to leave early in the morning to be in Rio, but we had no way to call a taxi. So, we arranged to have a guy pick us up at a specified time. He didn't show up and we were going to miss our onibus, so we went to the nearest pay phone to call him. He said he would show up in 5 minutes. He took 10 minutes. We rushed over to the bus station. I ran to catch our bus in case it happened to be leaving late. (it was already 5 minutes after it's time to leave). It was still there! We barely made it because it was leaving in that moment. Got here in Nova Friburgo that afternoon.
My comp is awesome. He only has two months on the mission, but he is already on fire. Some people were just born to be missionaries. His name is Elder Branco and he is from Florionópolis. We get along very well.
Nova Friburgo is a great area. The ward is doing rather well. The city is still recovering from the disaster in January. It's really incredible to hear the testimonies of people who lived through the disaster. There is a lot of evidence still included houses that are half gone lots of piles of dirt that fell from the mountains, etc.
We baptized this week!! His name is Gilmar. He is the last in his family to be baptized. The rest of his family was baptized last year and he barely moved back in with his wife and kids. Elder Branco really knew what to say to him because he changed his mind this week and decided to be baptized. He talked about the importance of having the father figure in the family. His family needs him to be a priesthood holder for them. It was really bold and just what he needed to hear. The family is way cool!!
We are also working with a man named Maicom. He had an accident a few years ago and lost the ability to speak. He is slowly recovering. He has a few more changes to make before he can be baptized, but he is way excited. He is showing fruits of repentance. We learned about family history on sunday and that night we went to his house and he was already looking up familysearch.org. He will have an interview with the mission president next week. I hope everything goes well for him.
We are also working on another family. Fatima is a single mother with several kids: Flavia, Betinho and marlom. They have gone to church several times already, but fatima doesn't feel the desire to be baptized yet. I'm pretty sure it's because she still smokes a little. We will have to help her get rid of that this week. When she gets baptized Marlom, 11, will go with her for sure. He already wanted to be baptized, but Fatima didn't want him to yet.
Friday we had a ward party with lots of really good food. We showed up earlier. While I was waiting, I got a phone call. It was President. I knew what it was. He asked me if I believed in the plan of salvation. I said yes. Then he shared the news with me. Nothing tests your testimony like an experience like this. Lots of questions came up. Will I really see her again? Luckily I know that I will. I moved on and worked the rest of the week.
Well still Visa-less but to be honest I'm okay with that. I am just LOVING my MTC experience. The travel agency told us that if they are not here two weeks before we go into the mission-field that we will most likely not be able to go to the Madrid MTC and might even be re-located in a temporary state-side mission. I'm happy though and that's all that matters! :) They said we might get to visist Madrid and go to the temple our last weeks in the field so we'll see! :)
I am soooo mad ya'll went to Little Mermaid without me. You know how bad I wanted to see that musical. Little Mermaid was always my favorite as a kid!!!!! Oh well I get to participate in the greatest work known to man-kind right now!!!! Soooo be a little jealous. Glad to hear my Rhonda the Honda is lookin good! That makes me feel better that he said it will last even to little Emily. Glad to hear her play of Tangled went well. Wish I could have seen it...that would have been hillarious to see Craig and Ryan. Just tell them I'm making fun of them still 300 miles away haha. Tell Mimi I said Happy Birthday and wish I could be there to give her a hug! That's awesome that Emily has Mrs. Mitchell!!!! That breaks my heart about Grandma but good thing we know about God's plan for us! I love teaching about the plan of Salvation. I am very passionate about it and feel it is my best lesson when I teach it. Tell Grandma I love her and her spirit will be missed her upon this earth!!! She has been such a good example growing up and so fun to have around. I love you grandma God be with you til we meet again :)
Mom and Dad- which classroom and building did you used to teach at?? So I can get a picture of where you both met! haha. I would LOVE to teach here after the mission and think I would be good at it. I am loving the Spanish language. Our lessons have been getting better and better. We practice on all the new people or people from the "outside world" as they come through the gate...it's a lot of fun! As a district we've labelled everything with sticky notes and can only talk Spanish during breakfast and dinner. It's been fun! I've never laughed so hard in my life! We all come up with the funniest one liners in Spanish. We've started a quote wall.
Everyone in the district likes to make fun of me cause I repeat every Spanish word the teacher says out loud. That's just how I learn. haha. They also like to make fun of me at meals because I eat so much. me estamago es muy grande! I ate 3 entrees, a house salad, 2 cookies, and a popcicle. I just get so hungry. They were all like.."where does it go?" haha. As a district we all work so hard and get like no sleep so everything seems to be funny all the time. It's hillarious! We'll get loopy and on laughing highs because the days are just so long but the weeks fly by! It's so funny though all the inside jokes we have. A lot of the Elders said they want to room with my brothers at BYU when we all get back. They've become like brothers and I love them dearly. They do everything I tell them it's great I feel like a queen. "oh elder will you get me some ketchup?" haha.
So that's crazy the missionaries there say my accident. What were they doing? My deaf friend it's so sad, she'll come bawling to me all the time because she's almost lost all of her hearing. She's so sweet and caring for everyone. Such a Christ-like example to me. None of her family has written her yet either. Me and all my Hermana's in the district are getting along so well. It's like I've known them my whole life. Some of us decided to room when we get back to Provo. I feel a little more relieved now about that situation when I return haha. It will be nice to have people my age to room with since I'll be an old hag when I get back.
Well I love you all. Thanks for the love and letters. We as missionaries NEED it! so thanks. The language it really coming I'm so close. I just struggle with subjunctive but how grateful I am for the gift of tongues! The church is true, I know it with my whole heart, might, mind, and strength! I cannot deny my testimony of this everlasting gospel!
Have a great week and don't forget to WRITE ME!!!!!!!! haha :)
I am going to be transferred tomorrow. I can't manage to sit still. I will be going to Nova Friburgo, the city that was flooded in January. My new comp will be Elder Branco.
The week flew by without me noticing. We did our best to help people accept baptism, but right now isn't their moment, and I pray that the new elders in the area will continue working with these people
Edmilson doesn't really want to be baptized. We worked with him a bit, but he insists that he will continue going to a different church. I took this to be a sign that he is not yet prepared to be baptized nor to stop drinking. I was reading the 12 step program that the church offers to help people with addiction. It is actually really good stuff to help anyone overcome bad habits or become more perfect.
Cristiana is having difficulties understanding that the book of mormon and joseph smith are inseparably connected. Knowing one is true is knowing the other is. We taught the family the plan of salvation. They liked it. We tried to get a wheelchair so we could take the dad to church (he can't walk). I think the best way to help her is take her family to church to help her get used to it. It really comes down to the fact that she doesn't want to change religions. I know that one day she will accept the truth. I pray it will be soon.
Marina is simply delaying. We visited her and wanted her to be baptized, but she honestly just wants to be baptized on her birthday. We can tell she wants to be baptized (she never said it directly, but she already decided who will baptize her). She finally came up to us at church and said she wants to be baptized next week by elder Gallacher. Unfortunately We are both leaving the area. Right when we start having success we are taken from the gold mine.
I pray for the success of the new elders. I tried my best to set it up for them. The worst thing on the mission is to show up to a ward that hates missionaries, has nothing to work with, and a dirty house with unpaid bills. We have left a ward with a lot of potential and a good teaching group.